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Compromise - Frank Schrijver UK Ltd v Smart Dry Intl Ltd

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Jane Lambert

Chancery Division (HH Judge Hodge QC) Frank Schrijver UK Ltd and another v Smart Dry Intl Ltd and others [2020] EWHC 2092 (Ch) (30 July 2020)

Judge Hodge was disarmingly blunt when he said at paragraph [1] of his judgment in Frank Schrijver UK Ltd and another v Smart Dry Intl Ltd and others [2020] EWHC 2092 (Ch) (30 July 2020):

"This judgment is naturally of considerable interest and concern to the parties to this litigation but it raises no issue of law and will be of no interest to anyone not involved in this case."

I don't agree with him.  Cases on the enforcement of Tomlin orders are rare and practitioners can always learn something from them.

A Tomlin order is a consent order in which the parties invite the court to stay proceedings on terms set out in a confidential schedule. The schedule does not form part of the court file and is never consulted unless one or more of the parties believes that one or more of the other parties has failed to perform his …

Trade Secrets - Celgard, LLC v Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co Ltd

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Jane Lambert
Chancery Division (Mr Justice Trower)  Celgard, LLC v Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co Ltd [2020] EWHC 2072 (Ch) (30 July 2020)
This was an application by Celgard LLC ("Celgard") for an interim injunction to restrain Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co Ltd ("Senior") from placing its battery separators onto the UK market or importing them into the United Kingdom on the ground that such marketing and importation would infringe Celgard's rights under the Trade Secrets Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (Text with EEA relevance) OJ L 157, 15.6.2016, p. 1–18) and at common law.  Celgard also applied for permission to serve the proceedings out of the jurisdiction pursuant to CPR 6.36 by an alternative method in accordance with CPR 6.15 (1). The appli…

Trade Marks and Passing off - Fit Kitchen Ltd v Scratch Meals Ltd

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Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (HH Judge Hacon) Fit Kitchen Ltd and another v Scratch Meals Ltd [2020] EWHC 2069 (IPEC) (29 July 2020)

This was an action for trade mark infringement and passing off. There was also a counterclaim for the invalidation of the claimant's mark under s.47 (1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994,   The action and counterclaim were tried by His Honour Judge Hacon on 17 June 2020.  His judgment in  Fit Kitchen Ltd and another v Scratch Meals Ltd [2020] EWHC 2069 was handed down on 29 July 2020.

The first claimant is a private company incorporated with limited liability in England and Wales in the name of Fit Kitchen Limited ("Fit Kitchen") under company number 09446763. Fit Kitchen is the proprietor of UK trade mark number 3179170 which is registered for "catering (food and drink -); food preparation services" in class 43.  The company prepares and delivers meals in accordance with its customers' requirements that the cu…

Freezing Injunctions - Organic Grape Spirit Ltd v Nueva IQT, SL

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Jane Lambert

Court of Appeal (Lord Justices David Richards, Newey and Arnold) Organic Grape Spirit Ltd v Nueva IQT, SL [2020] EWCA Civ 999 (28 July 2020)

An order to restrain disposal of assets worldwide and within England and Wales is called a "freezing injunction." An example of such an injunction can be found in the Annex to Practice Direction 25A - Interim Injunctions.   Before the Civil Procedure Rules came into force, freezing injunctions were called "Mareva Injunctions" after Mareva Compania Naviera SA v International Bulkcarriers SA (The Mareva)[1975] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 509, [1980] 1 All ER 213.  In that case, Lord Denning MR said: "If it appears that the debt is due and owing, and there is a danger that the debtor may dispose of his assets so as to defeat it before judgment, the court has jurisdiction in a proper case to grant an interlocutory judgment so as to prevent him disposing of those assets."  Freezing injunctions are an increasingly important …

Computer Supply Contracts - Sprint Electric Ltd v Buyer's Dream Ltd.

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Chancery Division (HH Judge Hacon) Sprint Electric Ltd v Buyer's Dream Ltd and Another [2020] EWHC 2004 (Ch) (24 July 2020)

Although this case was listed in Business List it was, in fact, an intellectual property case.  It related to a software development contract.  It was tried by an Enterprise judge and the parties were represented by intellectual property counsel.  One of the issues at trial was whether the claimant customer or the defendant developer owned the copyright in the software.

The Trial
In Sprint Electric Ltd v Buyer's Dream Ltd and another [2018] EWHC 1924 (Ch) (30 July 2018) Mr Richard Spearman QC tried two sets of proceedings: an action for breach of contract brought by Sprint Electric Ltd. ("Sprint") against Dr Aristides George Potamianos ("Dr Potamianos") and his company, Buyer's Dream Ltd. ("Dream") and an unfair prejudice claim by Dr Potamianos against the principal shareholder and director of Sprint's holding company.…

Patents - Lufthansa Technik AG v Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems

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Jane Lambert

Patents Court (Mr Justice Morgan) Lufthansa Technik AG v Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems and another [2020] EWHC 1968 (Pat) (22 July 2020)

These were two actions for the infringement of European Patent (UK) 0 881 145 B1 which were tried together by Mt Justice Morgan.  The claimant was Lufthansa Technik AG in both actions. The defendants in the first were Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems ("Astronics") and Safran Seats GB Ltd ("Safran").  The defendant in the second was Panasonic Avionics Corporation ("Panasonic").  The defendants contended that the patent was invalid for lack of novelty and lack of an inventive step. The actions were heard between 22 and 26 June and on 1 July 2020.  At paragraph [290] of his judgment in Lufthansa Technik AG v Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems and another [2020] EWHC 1968 (Pat) (22 July 2020) Mr Justice Morgan held that the patent was valid and infringed by all three defendants.

The Invention
The j…

Trade Mark Infringement and Passing Off - British Amateur Gymnastics Association v UK Gymnastics Ltd and Others

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Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (Judge Melissa Clarks) British Amateur Gymnastics Association v UK Gymnastics Ltd and others [2020] EWHC 1678  (26 June 2020)

This was a claim for trade mark infringement and passing off.  It was brought by the British Amateur Gymnastics Association ("BAGA") which is recognized as the national governing body for gymnastics in the UK. BAGA complained that UK Gymnastics Ltd ("UKG"), UK Gymnastics Affiliation Ltd. ("UKGA") and their director, Christopher Adams ("Mr Adams"), had infringed its national registered trade marks numbered UK00003226097 and UK00003281771 under s.10 (2) and (3) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and passed off their goods and services as and for those of BAGA. The action was tried by Judge Melissa Clarke on 2 and 3 March 2020 who delivered judgment on 26 June 2020. At paragraph [151] of her judgment in British Amateur Gymnastics Association v UK Gymnastics Ltd and others [2020] EW…